Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is an Umbrella School?

    An “Umbrella” or “Cover” School is the name often given to non-campus-based private schools, in other words, schools like HPA that exist to support homeschooling families. These schools are called this because they provide legal cover to the families enrolled in them.

  • How much is tuition?

    One-Time Registration Fee

    • $25 per family registration fee. This is a one-time, non-refundable fee for the life of your current enrollment. There is no need to re-enroll annually if there are no lapses in tuition. All fees and tuition are non-refundable.

    Monthly or Yearly Costs*

    • $10 per month or $110 per year for one student
    • $15 per month or $160 per year for two students
    • $20 per month or $200 per year for three students
    • $25 per month or $225 per year for four students
    • $35 per month or $250 per year for five-ten students
    • $50 registration fee and $500 per year, with no monthly option for groups of 10-25 students

    HPA Scholarships and Sponsorships

    We have a tuition assistance/sponsorship program for those in need. Please see the application process to qualify for the tuition assistance program. If you’d like to donate tuition to the scholarship fund, please visit our donation page. Sponsorship will get you or your business mentioned on our website, social media, and monthly newsletter.

    Attendance Recording

    Attendance is automatically recorded for each day of paid tuition. If monthly payments are missed, the attendance will only reflect the missing days if the unpaid months of tuition are paid or the account is changed to a YEARLY tuition family plan. 

    If tuition is not paid after one month is missed, you will be sent an invoice with the late month and the current month due immediately. If not paid before the 1st day of the third late month, your account will be canceled, and your student(s) will be withdrawn. You must either resubscribe to reinstate your student or source other educational coverage to comply with compulsory attendance laws. If your student was withdrawn and you would like to reinstate your account and student enrollment, you will need to reinstate (pay) your tuition, and you may also be charged a new registration fee of $25. To avoid paying the registration fee again in the future, be sure to keep your payment plan from lapsing.

    Note: The HB1 bill is a piece of legislation that affects how schools like HPA can participate in government-funded programs. HPA does not participate in any government-funded programs as we believe that the costs of such programs — most notably parents’ loss of freedom to direct their children’s education — outweigh the benefits. HPA is a virtual/correspondence school and not a physical school, so it means that HPA does not currently meet the compliance requirements mandated by the Florida State Statutes to receive government scholarships. Those requirements are but are not limited to maintaining a physical location in the state at which each student has regular and direct contact with certified teachers and meets applicable state and local health, safety, and welfare laws, codes, and rules, including fire safety and building safety at said physical location. 

  • When I enroll with HPA, whom do I have to tell? Do I have to notify the county? Do I notify my local public school?

    You do not have to notify anyone about your decision to enroll your child in a private school unless your child is already registered in another school or homeschool program. If enrolled in another school, they must formally withdraw from that school. The process will be determined by the school in question, as all schools will vary in their withdrawal requirements; please contact the school and withdraw accordingly.

    If registered with your county as a homeschooler, you would need to send them a letter of termination of the homeschool program. All this is explained in detail below:

    If your child is enrolled in a public or private school and wants to change to Hillcrest Private Academy, you MUST formally withdraw from the other school within 30 days of registering with HPA. You must contact the school to find out what they require. If you stop showing up at the public school without withdrawing, you start the truancy process, and a truancy officer may show up at your door. We recommend enrolling with HPA before withdrawing from your current program so there is no lapse in coverage.

    When the public or private school wants to know where you are transferring your child, the answer is either “I am homeschooling” or “I will be enrolling in a non-public “cover” school as my homeschooling option.” If you would like a copy of your child’s school records, you can request them. You, the parent, have legal rights to view your child’s records. By law, they must give them to you, but school officials do not make many school office personnel aware of this. There is a records request form located on the “documents” page for you to fill out and email to us. We will send it to the student’s previous school if needed. Here is the state statute in case you need it:

    1002.22 Education records and reports of K-12 students; rights of parents and students; notification; penalty. —

    (a) Students and their parents shall have the right to access their education records, including the right to inspect and review those records.

    (4) PENALTY. —if any official or employee of an institution refuses to comply with this section, the aggrieved parent or student has an immediate right to bring an action in circuit court to enforce his or her rights by injunction. Any aggrieved parent or student who brings such action and whose rights are vindicated may be awarded attorney’s fees and court costs.

    If you filed a notice of intent to homeschool, thereby establishing your Home Education Program with your local school board, and want to change to the private school option, you MUST send a letter of termination to the county within 30 days of enrollment in a private school. It should be something like this: “This is to notify you that the Home Education Program for (Student Name) has been terminated. (S)He is now enrolled in a private school.” You will send this termination letter to the Superintendent or the person on the school board you sent your letter of intent. You must do this! If you stop turning in your annual report, you start the truancy process, and a truancy officer may appear at your door. Please be aware, as per the FL State Statutes, they may require you to have your student complete an evaluation before they allow the termination. Here is a Notice of Termination you may use if you choose.

    Yes, you’re still homeschooling; you’re just doing it using the private school option instead of the HEP option. Using this option, your students are legally considered private school students, not homeschooled students. This does not mean that you will be any less of a homeschooler from a practical standpoint, simply that the law recognizes a difference between private school students and home education students and applies different rules and privileges to each.

  • Does being a member of a private school (that offers a homeschooling option) take the place of the record keeping and testing requirements required of homeschooler by the county/state?

    Registering with a private school is a valid alternative for homeschoolers who choose not to register with the home education office in their county. Those registered in a private school must meet the requirements of that private school within the law. HPA does not require a particular method of record keeping, report cards, transcripts, curriculum, classes, credits, or testing. However, we encourage all families to document learning activities in some form. We offer optional online record keeping of your report cards and transcripts on our website as part of our service. We also encourage you to keep portfolios containing samples of your child’s work throughout the year, photos, reading lists, etc. Portfolios are a great way to document your child’s progress and accomplishments. These portfolios will not only serve as a scrapbook of your child’s work, but they can also be invaluable in later years when applying to colleges or seeking job positions.

  • I want to withdraw. What happens if I decide to enroll my child back into public school, change private schools, register with my county as a homeschooler, move out of state or graduate my student?

    If you choose to withdraw a student from HPA for any reason, you’ll go to your account dashboard, “students,” then “view/edit.” Click the withdrawal button and fill out the form. After it’s received (this may take 2-3 business days), the student’s enrollment status will be changed from “enrolled” to “withdrawn.”

    Then, you will need to either change your family plan to remove the student from your subscription or cancel your subscription so you are not charged for the student in the future. DO NOT remove them from your plan before changing their enrollment status from “enrolled” to “withdrawn.” If they are removed before they are withdrawn and you have other students remaining, changing your family plan may result in the unintentional removal of a student other than the one you wish to withdraw. It will also impede receiving grading or other verification documents you may need.

    Before withdrawing, please fill out any grade documents you need or download a grade completion letter, especially if the student is going to another school. If the student is graduating, filling out the transcripts before withdrawing is strongly recommended. Once the withdrawal has been processed, you will receive a withdrawal/graduation verification email. If the student has graduated, a diploma may be ordered from the documents page of your account after the student’s withdrawal has been processed.

    If you were to enroll your child in a different private school, register with the state as a home-educated student, or enroll in a public school, you would have to submit to the enrollment requirements of the state and/or school/program with which you are registering. If a public school, most often, the student would be placed in an age-appropriate grade level and possibly tested for placement. You may read more about this on the Florida Department of Education website.

    When transferring to another school, please tell the school you homeschooled your child under the Florida non-public “cover” school option. If you tell them you were enrolled in a private school, they will send us a records request, and unless you’ve entered that information into our system, we will have nothing to send to them. If they send us a records request, you must provide the optional report card and/or transcript information on your account dashboard, or we will have nothing to send to them. If that is the case, and we have no academic records to send them, we will tell them that we are a private cover school for home-educated students; therefore, all academic records are held and maintained by the student’s parents/guardians. Then, you will be directly responsible for providing the school with the necessary educational documentation to satisfy their requirements.

  • I understand that the State requires compulsory attendance. How do I report attendance?

    From the Florida State Statutes:

    1003.21 School attendance.—

    (1)(a)1. All children who have attained the age of 6 years or who will have attained the age of 6 years by February 1 of any school year or who are older than 6 years of age but who have not attained the age of 16 years, except as otherwise provided, are required to attend school regularly during the entire school term.

    HPA school term is 365 days per year, from September 1st-August 31st, annually with no re-enrollment required as long as the student remains enrolled.

    Attendance is automatically recorded for each day of paid tuition. If monthly payments are missed, the attendance will not reflect the missing days unless the account is changed to a YEARLY tuition family plan.

    If tuition is not paid after one month is missed, you will be sent an invoice with the late month and the current month due immediately. If not paid before the 1st day of the third late month, your account will be canceled, and your student(s) will be withdrawn. You must either resubscribe to reinstate your student or source other educational coverage to comply with compulsory attendance laws. If your student was withdrawn and you would like to reinstate your account and student enrollment, you will need to reinstate (pay) your tuition, and you may also be charged a new registration fee of $25. To avoid paying the registration fee again in the future, be sure to keep your payment plan from lapsing.

  • I’ve uploaded the required documents, but my student’s profile is still “pending.”

    This could be due to a couple of reasons. First, ensure all the required documents are uploaded to the appropriate document slots on the student’s profile. The slots are as follows:

    1. Age verification- Birth certificate, passport, baptismal certificate, etc. (Not required for students who have ever attended any other school before, including HAFS)
    2. Health Certificate (School Physical), State exemption waiver, or our certificate of exemption. (Required for ALL students)
    3. Immunization Certificate, State exemption waiver, or our certificate of exemption. (Required for ALL students)

    Second, if you’ve already uploaded the documents, the student’s profile will still say “Pending” until we can verify and change the status to “Enrolled.” If, after two business days, the account has still not been updated, please contact us. If you have pre-registered for an upcoming school year, your student will be in pending status until September 1 of the upcoming school year for which you have registered.

  • Do I need to be registered with the county/state if I enroll in a private school such as HPA?

    No! If you register with HPA and as a homeschooler with your county simultaneously, you will receive a notice from the county that your annual evaluation is due! When you enroll in HPA or any private school, you MUST NOT register with the Home Education program in your county. As a registered student of HPA, your student will not be recognized by the state of Florida as a home-educated student but as a private school student.

    Registering with the county as a home education student AND registering with a private school is not legally required and goes against the Florida State Statutes. You cannot lawfully be enrolled in both simultaneously. If your school or county requests it, please follow up with them concerning the law.

    However, if you registered with the state home education program (via your local school board), you MUST send them a Notice of Termination within 30 days of enrollment with HPA. Any student registered with the state home education program must terminate the homeschool program, regardless of whether you enroll the child in a public or private school or transfer your home education program to another county. The only thing required by law is the child’s name, address, and the parent’s signature on the letter stating that you are ending your “state home education program. “You may choose to tell them where you plan to enroll or if you are moving out of state, but the law does not require it. Please be aware that, as per FL State Statutes, they may require you to submit an evaluation before terminating your homeschool program. Here is a Notice of Termination you may use if you choose.

    Please be aware that the county where you have filed your notice of intent to homeschool may require you to submit to them a final evaluation of your student before they will accept your notice of termination. They have a legal right to request this evaluation, although most do not. I’ve found that they don’t typically require it unless you are on their “radar,” such as in situations of CPS, truancy, etc., but they may still require it.

    Enrollment with a Private School Vs. Home Education State Statute Requirements

    Feature/RequirementPrivate SchoolHome Education Statutes
    Register with Superintendent by filing a notice of intent to homeschool.NoYes
    Maintain portfolio, preserve for 2 years and make it available for inspection by Superintendent within 15 days’ notice.NoYes
    Student evaluated by a certified teacher annually and file annual evaluation with Superintendent.NoYes
    Students take any nationally normed student achievement test administered by a certified teacher with results filed with the Superintendent.NoYes
    Possible “audit” of records by School District/Superintendent.NoYes
    Satisfy Florida State compulsory attendance requirements.YesNo
    Eligible for Bright Futures Scholarship.YesYes
    Participate in Inter-Scholastic Extracurricular Student Activities.MaybeYes
    Take Classes with Florida Virtual School Flex.YesYes
    Upon withdrawal/termination, provide a notice of termination and an annual evaluation within 30 days.NoYes
    Participate in Dual EnrollmentYesYes

    The chart above reflects legal requirements only. Private schools like HPA also tend to offer services to their students such as:

    • Recommendations for curriculum
    • Report Cards
    • Guidance Counseling
    • Transcript Services
    • Diplomas
    • Etc.

    Each private school may set its own requirements regarding curriculum, samples of work, testing, evaluations, and so on. The key difference between enrolling in a private school and registering as a home educator is this:

    • Private school students are overseen by administrators you select. Identifying data about the student and samples of the student’s work are never shared with anyone outside of the private school (other than at your request).
    • Home education students are overseen by government employees at the school district. Parents must file annual evaluations with the district and may be required to show their record-keeping and samples of the student’s work.
  • Does HPA provide classes or curriculum?

    We offer Florida Virtual Flex, ABCMouse, Starfall, Minecraft Education, Cyber.org, and Khan Academy. We are always working on adding new curriculum resources for our students. These and those listed below are optional resources, and some may incur additional fees. You may use any curriculum you choose; it is entirely up to you. A simple Google search will present you with many options and choices.

    Most seasoned homeschoolers end up using a variety of things to teach, and until you learn what works best for your family, it is best not to spend a fortune on something that may not work for you. My advice is to shop around, ask other homeschooling families what works for them, and be prepared to be flexible with your choices. Pay attention to your student’s needs and desires, and ultimately, do what works for you and your family!

    Many companies will send you samples of their program if you request them. Join homeschooling groups, ask around, and purchase used or free materials. The Internet offers a plethora of free and low-cost educational options.

    Homeschooling does not have to cost you a fortune! We are fortunate to have affiliations with some online programs that offer a complete curriculum for little to no cost. As a student of HPA, you do have the option of using these virtual programs and many more:

  • Do I have to submit something to HPA so my child can be promoted to the next grade?

    Yes, you will state the current grade level in your student profile. As the homeschooling parent and/or teacher, you decide what grade level to teach and when to promote your student(s). Some homeschoolers choose not to use grade levels or promotions at all. Before updating your student’s grade level, complete any necessary grading documents.

  • What information does HPA report to the State DOE about my child?

    Like every other private school in Florida, HPA must submit an annual report called the “Annual Database Survey.” This survey is done online with a follow-up notarized copy mailed to the State DOE.

    On the Database Survey, every private school is asked to confirm basic information about the school (address, owner’s name, whether the school is a boarding school, etc.) and information about the students. The information about the students is a headcount — a count of students broken out by grade range — that’s all. No personal information about you or your child is provided to the State DOE — no names, no Social Security Numbers, no attendance counts — nothing but the number of students enrolled, broken out by grade range, along with some other statistical and demographic information. Some of the questions we ask when you enroll your student are for this census survey.

    Occasionally we may be contacted by different authorities regarding your enrollment status. Examples of these are CPS, truancy officers, previously attended schools/programs, and attorneys (in domestic/custody, criminal, or otherwise child welfare-related cases). In these cases, provided your student is enrolled, and in good standing, the only information given to them is what is legally required. Under normal circumstances, a statement from us that “Student Name is enrolled and in good standing with Hillcrest Private Academy” will suffice. Occasionally, we may be subpoenaed to appear in court to attest to this and show “proof” of enrollment, attendance, and possibly educational documentation such as report cards or transcripts. If this were to occur, we would contact you for further information and documentation if necessary.

  • I understand that I, the parent/guardian, handle all curriculum and educational records. Is there anything that needs to be submitted to you at any time?

    Yes, the records to be submitted within 30 days of enrollment are as follows:

    *The only exception to the requirement of documents is for students outside the US. Students who are non-US citizens residing in foreign countries do not have to provide health documents. But, to satisfy the site requirement, those residing outside the US must upload the exemption waiver we provide.

    1. Proof of age for children entering Kindergarten or those who have never attended any other school ONLY (COPIES of the following: certified copy of the child’s birth certificate, adoption record, passport, etc.). This is not required for any other grade level or if the student has EVER attended ANY other school. To clarify, if your child has only been homeschooled or never attended school, we will need the birth certificate.
    2. Certification of a school-entry health examination performed within one year before enrollment or signed statement by the parent or guardian stating objections to such examination on religious grounds. Here is a Letter of Exemption. The link provided here is for both the health examination and the immunizations. You may use it for either or both.
    3. Certificate of current immunization within one year of submission or signed statement by the parent or guardian stating that the administration of immunization agents conflicts with their religious tenets or practices. Here is a Letter of Exemption. The link provided here is for both the health examination and the immunizations. You may use it for either or both.

    You will be prompted to upload these documents to your student’s profile during the student enrollment process. After you are registered and have enrolled your student(s), you will click on “Student” and then on “view/edit” next to the appropriate student. On this screen, you will see all the necessary enrollment questions along with the areas to upload the documents. It would be very helpful if you changed the document’s file name to contain the student’s name and the document’s contents before uploading. Example: JaneDoeExemptionWaiver. pdf

  • We do not see a doctor regularly, have the money for a doctor visit, or we are opposed to immunizations; what should we do about the required health and shot records?

    This is not a problem. The statutes state a child shall be exempted from the requirement of a health examination upon written request of the parent of the child stating objections to the examination on religious grounds.

    The Statues further states in regard to the required immunization records:

    The provisions of this section shall not apply if:

    (a) The parent of the child objects in writing that the administration of immunizing agents conflicts with his or her religious tenets or practices;

    (b) A physician licensed under the provisions of chapter 458 or chapter 459 certifies in writing, on a form approved and provided by the Department of Health, that the child should be permanently exempt from the required immunization for medical reasons stated in writing, based upon valid clinical reasoning or evidence, demonstrating the need for the permanent exemption;

    (c) A physician licensed under the provisions of chapter 458, chapter 459, or chapter 460 certifies in writing, on a form approved and provided by the Department of Health, that the child has received as many immunizations as are medically indicated at the time and is in the process of completing necessary immunizations;

    (d) The Department of Health determines that, according to recognized standards of medical practice, any required immunization is unnecessary or hazardous;

    If you oppose mandatory vaccinations, you may object in writing by submitting to us either the “official” exemption document received from your local county health department, writing your own objections, OR submitting the waiver we provide here. You DO NOT have to say what religion you are to use the religious exemptions. Whatever form of compliance you choose is completely up to you. When you enroll, you legally have 30 days to submit the health documents to us by uploading them to your HPA student profile. The exemption waiver we provided here covers BOTH the health examination and immunizations; you may use it for either or both.

    To upload the required documents to your student profile, select “Student” and “view/edit” on your account dashboard. This will take you to the required enrollment form questions and the slots to upload the documents. If you have an exemption waiver, you will upload it into BOTH the health certificate AND the Immunization certificate slots.

    Certificate of Exemption

  • Can my high school student participate in public school extracurricular activities?

    Enrolling in extracurricular activities at your local public high school and some middle schools is easy in some school districts. However, each school and district sets its policy.

    The best thing to do is ask your assigned school or district about the procedures. According to State Statutes, some public school extracurricular activities may be extended to private school students if said private school does not offer the desired program. The school will give you EL12 forms, one for you and one for us to fill out. If you need this form filled out and signed by us, please get in touch with us. These forms are also available to you on the documents page of your account. Please be aware that there are some stipulations regarding the total number of enrolled students in the school you are attending, and this may affect your sports application acceptance as we are over the standard requirements. Whether it is accepted or not is completely up to the institution, you are applying to.

  • Do you require a statement of faith?

    No, HPA does not require a statement of faith as we are not affiliated with any outside entity, religious or secular.

  • May we register and use Florida Virtual School while enrolled with HPA?

    YES! We have an affiliation agreement with Florida Virtual School. This means that students 6–12th grades enrolled in HPA may register and participate in the Florida Virtual School Flex Program free of charge*.

    Elementary-aged students in grades K–5 may also participate in the Florida Virtual School Flex Program free of charge*. Please be aware that there are some differences in the requirements for the elementary program. Please visit https://flvs.net/elementary for more information.

    For middle and high school students residing out of State/Country, FLVS is also an option for you. The FLVS Global is available to you; however, there is a fee. Please visit https://flvs.net/global-school for more information.

    Please remember that FLVS is an option and is not required for enrollment. If you want to use this service, please click this link: Florida Virtual School.

    When registering with FLVS, please do so as a private school student. After you choose Escambia County as your district, a drop-down box will open with a list of available schools; select Hillcrest Private Academy. If they require a student ID number, this is your student’s social security number. (You may need to add an x to the end of the ss#) Please allow up to 48hrs for us to approve your registration.

    Please notify the school via instant message, text, contact form, or support ticket on your family account each time you register for classes through FLVS. FLVS will tell you they will inform us of your need for approval, but they do not.

    *If your student receives ANY School Choice Scholarships, the fees for FLVS MUST be paid by you using the scholarship funds. FLVS will send you an invoice; if the invoice is not paid, the student’s FLVS courses will be dropped.

    **Note: HPA is not affiliated with FLVS Connections Academy or K-12; these are public schools.

  • As a student of HPA is my high school student able to participate in dual enrollment at our local community college?

    YES, most of the time! Due to recent changes in legislation, our students who are Florida residents CAN take advantage of the dual enrollment program. We already have articulation agreements with a few institutions throughout Florida, but they must be requested annually before August 1st of the year the student wishes to attend in the fall.

    If you’d like us to try to form an articulation agreement with the Florida institution of your choice, please let us know, and we’ll do our best to facilitate an agreement. If we cannot create a contract with your school of choice, your best course of action is to register with your county as a homeschooler and then with the college of your choice as a homeschooled dual enrollment student. Dual enrollment is an excellent program for those pursuing a college degree.

    Here is more information from the Florida Department of Education:

    Private (Nonpublic) Schools

    1007.271 Dual enrollment programs.—

    (1) The dual enrollment program is the enrollment of an eligible secondary student or home education student in a postsecondary course creditable toward high school completion and a career certificate or an associate or baccalaureate degree.

    (24)(a) The dual enrollment program for a private school student consists of the enrollment of an eligible private school student in a postsecondary course creditable toward an associate degree, a career certificate, or a baccalaureate degree. In addition, a private school in which a student, including, but not limited to, students with disabilities, is enrolled must award credit toward high school completion for the postsecondary course under the dual enrollment program. To participate in the dual enrollment program, an eligible private school student must:

    1. Provide proof of enrollment in a private school pursuant to subsection (2).

    2. Be responsible for his or her own transportation unless provided for in the articulation agreement.

    3. Sign a private school articulation agreement pursuant to paragraph (b).

    (b) Each public postsecondary institution eligible to participate in the dual enrollment program pursuant to s. 1011.62(1)(i) must enter into a private school articulation agreement with each eligible private school in its geographic service area seeking to offer dual enrollment courses to its students, including, but not limited to, students with disabilities. By August 1 of each year, the eligible postsecondary institution shall complete and submit the private school articulation agreement to the Department of Education. The private school articulation agreement must include, at a minimum:

    1. A delineation of courses and programs available to the private school student. The postsecondary institution may add, revise, or delete courses and programs at any time.

    2. The initial and continued eligibility requirements for private school student participation, not to exceed those required of other dual enrollment students.

    3. The student’s responsibilities for providing his or her own transportation.

    4. A provision clarifying that the private school will award appropriate credit toward high school completion for the postsecondary course under the dual enrollment program.

    5. A provision expressing that costs associated with tuition and fees, including registration, and laboratory fees, will not be passed along to the student.

    (25) For students with disabilities, a postsecondary institution eligible to participate in dual enrollment pursuant to s. 1011.62(1)(i) shall include in its dual enrollment articulation agreement, services and resources that are available to students with disabilities who register in a dual enrollment course at the eligible institution and provide information regarding such services and resources to the Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities. The Department of Education shall provide to the center the Internet website link to dual enrollment articulation agreements specific to students with disabilities. The center shall include in the information that it is responsible for disseminating to students with disabilities and their parents pursuant to s. 1004.6495, dual enrollment articulation agreements and opportunities for meaningful campus experience through dual enrollment.

  • Are you accredited?

    No, HPA is not accredited. In order to be accredited, schools must meet certain criteria when evaluated.

    We are not a brick-and-mortar school; we have no teachers (other than parents) and offer no curriculum or classes other than outside-sourced virtual programs. Therefore, we meet none of the criteria to meet accreditation standards.

    From the Florida Department of Education website:

    There is no state law requiring private schools to be accredited. The Florida Department of Education does not accredit, regulate, approve, or license private high schools. Additionally, the Florida Department of Education does not officially recognize any of the various agencies that accredit private schools. There are many organizations with widely variant quality standards and program requirements that accredit private schools. The acceptance of diplomas from private schools will be subject to the requirements of the receiving educational institution or employer.

  • When my high school student graduates from HPA will they be able to enter college, university, or military service?

    In most cases, students from HPA have no problem entering college, university, or military service. However, it is always best to contact the institution you wish to join to find out precisely what they require and do so well in advance. Over the years, we have had MANY high school graduates leave us and go to all forms of postsecondary educational institutions, such as community colleges, technical schools, military service, universities, etc… and even Ivy League institutions worldwide!

    The only institutions from which we’ve ever encountered problems are State-funded community colleges. Problems are rare but do sometimes occur. Some have said they will only accept students from accredited schools or require the private school student to obtain a GED before entry. Because of these situations, I advise that you plan for college early and, if needed, withdraw from HPA and register with the county as a homeschooler for the last year of high school.

  • As students of HPA may we participate in the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program?

    Yes, HPA college-bound high school students are eligible for the Bright Futures Scholarship Program. There are three award levels, depending on a student’s GPA, standardized test scores, and community service hours. Learn more at the Bright Futures Web SiteDo not look at the information for home education students (the requirements are more stringent); students enrolled at HPA are private school students and do not fall under the home education requirements.

    Award Levels

    There are multiple award levels, which are discussed in detail in the Bright Futures Handbook

    Be sure to carefully review the course requirements, which may differ from those for a standard diploma.

    If your student qualifies and you are ready to apply, please contact us for assistance with your transcripts and application.

  • Do you provide report cards or high school transcripts?

    Yes, we provide report cards and transcript templates for our students on our website. You must maintain the information for these documents on your student profile so we can access them and send them to where they are needed. You may download the unsigned “unofficial” documents anytime for your records. However, if you need them to be sent to a school or other institution in an “official” capacity, please ensure you’ve filled out all the courses, grades, and student information, then submit a request for an “official” signed copy. For Report Cards and Progress Reports, a copy will be uploaded to your student’s account’s “Files” page, and a link will be emailed to you. High School transcripts will be uploaded to Parchment for official retrieval. Once uploaded to Parchment, you may create an account with them, or the school/institution may order them directly from Parchment.

  • Do you accept students who live in other states or countries?

    It depends upon the home education laws where you reside. If enrolling in an out-of-state/country private correspondence school is a LEGAL option for you, then yes, you may enroll.

    Please be sure to check with your local laws for verification. We are not responsible, nor will we have any legal recourse to help you if you do not follow the laws where you reside.

    International students – International students are not legally required by the State of Florida to submit the health documents, but the website still requires documents to be uploaded in order to complete the enrollment process. If you do not have health and immunization records, you may use the certificate of exemption provided in order to complete the enrollment process.

    Please see here for detailed instructions on the full enrollment process.

  • Do I need to re-enroll annually?

    No, as long as you do not withdraw or allow your tuition to lapse, there is no need to re-enroll annually. Some instances where you may need to re-enroll may be:

    1. If you miss tuition payments and are consequently withdrawn from HPA but would like to be reinstated,
    2. If you withdraw and would like to return to HPA.

    To re-enroll, go to the homepage and log into your account. You must go to “Enroll Now” and go through the process to re-activate your account. Your students should appear on your account, so there is no need to add them again or re-upload the required documents unless otherwise stated on your account. If you re-enroll, you may be subject to paying an enrollment fee and any missed months of attendance in order to record said attendance.

    If you find you do not have an active account, click “Enroll Now” to start the enrollment process.

  • How long does the enrollment process take?

    Registering for an account and enrolling your students only takes a few moments of your time. The student enrollment begins as soon as your students are fully enrolled in our system. Fully enrolled means your tuition is paid, the enrollment form is filled out completely and all the State required documents are uploaded to your student’s profile. Once the student is fully enrolled, we will verify the account and change the student’s enrollment status from “Pending” to “Enrolled.” The State of Florida allows 30 days from the initial enrollment in which to submit said documents to the school, before the student is considered out of compliance. Consequently, the student’s enrollment does not “officially” begin with attendance being accrued, until the entire enrollment process is complete and the student’s enrollment status has been changed to “Enrolled.” If you need an extension on the documents, please contact us to let us know.

  • When do you accept enrollments?

    HPA is a year-round school, meaning our school term is 365 days from September 1st – August 31st. We accept students at any point during the year. We offer monthly and yearly plans.

    If you are enrolling late in the year, please remember that our school year does not end until August 31st. If you enroll before then, you are enrolling for the current school year, and if you pay the yearly rate, you will be charged again on September 1st. If you want to pre-register for the upcoming school year, use the coupon code at the top of the site. Pre-registration is only available beginning in May annually and ends on August 31st.

  • We are new to homeschooling; can you give us some advice?

    Certainly! My advice is to take a deep breath and RELAX! As part of HPA, you are no longer on anyone’s timetable except your own. You have the freedom to make decisions for your family and the time to follow through with them. Your days, weeks, months and years are yours to do with what you will. Take a vacation anytime you want without worry, take time off from “school” if you choose. You will have no one hanging over your shoulder telling you what to do or how to do it!

    You have your child’s best interests at heart and will need to learn to trust that your child will get what they need when they need it. Children have a natural curiosity and thirst for knowledge, they will learn whether you teach them or not! Through trial and error, you will learn what works best for you and your family. If something isn’t working, you have the freedom to change it.

    Firstly, please make sure you take the time to de-school. This is an important step many skip but is crucial! What this means essentially is that you take the time to ‘reboot.’ The general rule of thumb is to take off one month for each year of school attended thus far. This time is for you as well as for the student. If you are unfamiliar with what this means, please research and practice. I can’t express enough the importance of this to your success!

    You have complete freedom to use any curriculum you choose, or you may choose none, that is completely up to you. A simple google search will present you with many options and choices. If you are new to homeschooling, I do suggest that you shop around and do not spend a lot on a boxed curriculum. Most seasoned homeschoolers end up using a variety of things to teach and until you learn what will work best for your family, it is best not to spend a fortune for things which may not work for you. Many companies will send you samples of their program if you request it. There are many options online which are completely free! I post many things on our Facebook fan page so please be sure to “like” us.

    My last bit of advice is to join a local homeschool group if possible. It is always helpful to have a support system and being around like-minded people is a plus. If there are no local groups, start one! I’m sure there are others in your area who would be grateful to you. You may also join online groups as being able to connect with other home schoolers at any time is very beneficial. After enrolling with HPA you may wish to join our private group on Facebook, our Class Dojo and/or our Yammer group.

    YOU CAN DO THIS!

  • You mentioned that we may choose to use no curriculum at all? How can we homeschool without using curriculum? Or what is Unschooling?

    For starters, as part of HPA you have freedom and are in complete control of all educational choices and decisions. You may choose to use any educational materials you would like. Co-ops, homeschool groups, community classes, private classes, tutors, or just sitting around your dining room table, are all acceptable options. A simple google search will provide you with a plethora of options, many of which are at little or no cost to you.

    We began our home-educating journey as strict school-at-homers. Over time and in educating ourselves on the subject, we evolved into an unschooling family. I prefer to use the term “Whole Life Learners.” I believe the term unschooling leads one to believe that we don’t “school” at all. Unschooling does not necessarily mean we don’t ever use school; it simply means we learn through living by following our interests; some of those interests may even be in a classroom setting. We trust that in doing so, we will get what we need when we need it. I say we because we all learn constantly; even as grownups, we never stop! As parents, we are more facilitators than teachers. We allow the child the freedom to learn at their own pace and provide opportunities and materials by which to do so. Indeed, if enrolling in classes, co-ops, or even back into brick-and-mortar school is something the child wants or needs, we would also facilitate that.

    For more information on unschooling, please visit my Unschooling Resources page.

  • We are relocating to Florida soon, should we enroll now or wait until we move?

    I do recommend that you enroll before withdrawing from your current school program so that there is no lapse in coverage. If you are not leaving immediately, please make sure we are a legal option for you in your current location before withdrawing from your current program.

  • We have moved, what do we need to do?

    If you’re planning to remain enrolled with us, then all you need to do is change your address on your student profile on our website.

    If you’re moving out of State/Country and would like to remain enrolled, please check with your local education/home education laws to ensure that enrolling in an out-of-State/Country private correspondence/virtual school is a LEGAL option for you. If it is a legal option, there is no need to withdraw from HPA, but of course, you may if you choose. We are not responsible, nor will we have any legal recourse to help you if you do not follow the laws where you reside.

    If you are moving out of State/Country and wish to withdraw a student from HPA , you’ll go to your account dashboard, “students,” then “view/edit.” Click the withdrawal button and fill out the form. After it’s received (this may take 2-3 business days), the student’s enrollment status will be changed from “enrolled” to “withdrawn.”

    Then, you must cancel your subscription so you are not charged for the student in the future. DO NOT remove them from your plan before changing their enrollment status from “enrolled” to “withdrawn.”

    Before withdrawing, please fill out any grade documents you need or download a grade completion letter, especially if the student is going to another school. If the student is graduating, filling out the transcripts before withdrawing is strongly recommended. Once the withdrawal has been processed, you will receive a withdrawal/graduation verification email. If the student has graduated, a diploma may be ordered from the documents page of your account after the student’s withdrawal has been processed.

  • We missed some attendance because I allowed my students tuition to lapse, what should I do?

    If tuition is not paid after one month is missed, you will be sent an invoice with the late month and the current month due immediately. If not paid before the 1st day of the third late month, your account will be canceled, and your student(s) will be withdrawn. If your account was canceled, you must either click “Enroll Today” to resubscribe and reinstate your student or source other educational coverage to comply with compulsory attendance laws. If your student was withdrawn and you would like to reinstate your account and student enrollment, you will need to reinstate (pay) your tuition, and you may also be charged a new registration fee of $25. To avoid paying the registration fee again in the future, be sure to keep your payment plan from lapsing.

  • My child needs a work permit to allow working during school hours. Is this something you can provide?

    Yes, once your 14-year-old or above student is fully enrolled, you can immediately download a work permit letter from the documents page of your account.

  • We are currently enrolled with HPA, and we need something to prove our enrollment. Is that something you can provide?

    Yes, once your student is fully enrolled you may request an enrollment verification letter from the “documents” page of your account. Once the student has been verified, the enrollment verification letter will be emailed to you.

  • I need a school administrator to sign a document. Is this something you can provide?

    Yes, if your student is fully enrolled, we will happily provide you with a signature on your document. Please email us with the information and documents required. Depending upon the nature of the document and what is required, there may be an additional fee for signing, notarization, or shipping.

  • Do you offer a high school diploma?

    We do offer a standard high school diploma.

    Diplomas for HPA High School students are not required, but they are recommended. Some requirements must first be met to graduate from HPA and receive a high school diploma. The student must be fully enrolled in 12th grade, at least 16 years old, and have completed the minimum 180 days of attendance while enrolled at HPA. Because our school year begins on September 1st, the earliest a student can graduate is March 1st. If the student enrolled after March 1st, they may graduate only after the required 180 attendance days have been met while enrolled in HPA. Once all these requirements have been met, you may graduate your student and order a diploma. The instructions for both are laid out below. If you have any questions, please contact us.

    To order a diploma, first fill out and request signed transcripts. Next, from your dashboard, click STUDENTS, then WITHDRAW/GRADUATE next to the graduating student’s name. We will process the graduation and email you a graduation verification email. After you have received that email, you may click the diploma link on the documents page of your account dashboard. There is a nominal processing fee for all diplomas. If you are a former HPA graduate, you must have met the same requirements as current students. These will be verified before a diploma is issued. Please visit the alumni page to order your diploma and transcripts. If you are unsure whether or not we already have them on file, please contact us before placing an order.

    When the diploma is made, a hard copy will be mailed to the address you put on the order form, and a digital printable copy will be uploaded to your account and emailed to you. Then, you will need to either change your family plan to remove the student from your subscription or cancel your subscription so you are not charged for the student in the future. DO NOT change your plan before their enrollment status has been changed from “enrolled” to “withdrawn.”

    An academic diploma is sometimes required, such as when the student applies for the Bright Futures Scholarship, enters college, or joins the military. If your student wishes to receive an academic high school diploma from HPA, they must meet the above requirements AND complete the Florida DOE requirements for a standard (24-credit) diploma. Course requirements for graduation are frequently updated and are recorded based on the year a student enters 9th grade. You can view graduation course requirements on the Florida DOE site. They also must have full high school transcripts (see below).

    While it is neither accredited nor a GED, it is widely accepted by most schools, institutions, military services, etc. Because we are not an accredited school, the best course of action would be to contact the institution in question to find out precisely what they require, as all schools are different. If they need an accredited diploma, they may want to withdraw from HPA and register with the county for the last year of high school. We highly suggest you contact HSLDA to let them know you were denied. It is rare, but they have previously seen and dealt with this issue of home education rights.

    From the Florida Department of Education regarding accreditation and diplomas:

    There is no state law requiring private schools to be accredited. The Florida Department of Education does not accredit, regulate, approve, or license private high schools. Additionally, the Florida Department of Education does not officially recognize any agencies that accredit private schools. Many organizations with widely variable quality standards and program requirements accredit private schools. The acceptance of diplomas from private schools will be subject to the requirements of the receiving educational institution or employer.

  • Does attending a private school with a homeschooling option meet the record keeping and testing requirements of the county or state?

    Registering with a private school is a valid alternative for homeschoolers who choose not to register with the home education office in their county. Those registered in a private school must meet the requirements of that private school, within the law.

    HPA does not require a particular method of record keeping, report cards, transcripts, curriculum, classes, credits, or testing. However, we encourage all families to document learning activities in some form.

    We offer optional online record keeping of your report cards and transcripts on our website as part of our service to our students. We also encourage you to keep portfolios containing samples of your child’s work throughout the year including photos, reading lists, etc. Portfolios are a great way to document your child’s progress and accomplishments. These portfolios will not only serve as a scrapbook of your child’s work, but they can also be invaluable in later years when applying to colleges or seeking job positions.

  • How do I enroll my child(ren)?

    Great, we’d love to have you in our HPA family!

    HPA is a year-round school, meaning our school term is 365 days from September 1st – August 31st. We accept students at any point during the year. We offer monthly and yearly plans.

    If you are enrolling late in the year, please remember that our school year does not end until August 31st. If you enroll before then, you are enrolling for the current school year, and if you pay the yearly rate, you will be charged again on September 1st. If you want to pre-register for the upcoming school year, use the coupon code at the top of the site. Pre-registration is only available beginning in May annually and ends on August 31st.

    We are here for you whenever you are ready to begin your homeschooling journey through the private school option. Please click the link below for detailed instructions on the registration and enrollment process.

    How to enroll in Hillcrest Private Academy

    If you have any questions or issues with the process, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help you!

  • I’ve tried to enroll my students, but the information isn’t saving.

    You may be attempting to enter YOUR email address into the student’s email address space. If you do, the system will kick it back because your email address is already registered. If the student does not have an email address, leave it blank.

  • My student is graduating, how do I order a diploma/transcript and when should I withdraw them?

    Diplomas and Transcripts for HPA High School students are not required, but they are recommended. Some requirements must first be met to graduate from HPA and receive a high school diploma. The student must be fully enrolled in 12th grade, at least 16 years old, and have completed the minimum 180 days of attendance while enrolled at HPA. Because our school year begins on September 1st, the earliest a student can graduate is March 1st. If the student enrolled after March 1st, they may graduate only after the required 180 attendance days have been met while enrolled in HPA. Once all these requirements have been met, you may order signed transcripts, graduate your student, and order a diploma. The instructions for both can be found on our High School page. If you have any questions, please contact us.